On January 24th from a Seaside Heights fire station, Governor Chris Christie announced that the State is adopting the recently released Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) maps as the State standard. This Emergency Rule, which will be issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will be effective immediately. Governor Christie noted that the State decided to move forward with the adoption rather than waiting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to formally adopt the maps 18 to 24 months from now, a timeframe that the Governor stated is "unacceptable". The new ABFE maps reflect the most accurate, recent information, convey the risks involved, and over the long run reduce flood insurance rates.
The State Planning Commission (SPC) is reissuing the State Plan for the third time to see if anyone likes it any better this time. If you’ll recall, this process is called cross acceptance, and it is supposed to take place every three years.
The State Planning Commission (SPC) adopted a State Plan on March 1, 2001. It is the plan that is currently in effect. The SPC has also prepared a revision of the State Plan, called a preliminary plan and dated April 28, 2004, which is in a cross acceptance process with county and local governments and state agencies before it can be adopted. The SPC is currently preparing the Draft Final State Plan.
Redevelopment in New Jersey is governed by the “Local Redevelopment and Housing Law” (N.J.S.A. 40A:12A). This law gives municipalities the authority to designate redevelopment areas and name a redeveloper for the area. There is no state agency with oversight responsibility for the local redevelopment process although the DCA commissioner does have to sign off on the designation if the redevelopment area is not in a smart growth area.
The “State Transfer of Development Rights Act” was enacted on March 29, 2004. It authorizes municipalities in New Jersey to create a transfer of development rights program by ordinance. Under TDR, development rights are transferred from a sending area to a receiving area. These sending and receiving areas need not be in the same municipality or even same county, if the municipalities develop a joint program.